Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
Here are a few things you can expect:
- We typically receive 2-3 blog posts per week here at GLA Headquarters from our program staff and students, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a blog post daily – that’s totally normal.
- Blog updates sent on weekends may not be posted until Monday.
- Due to many factors, including but not limited to internet accessibility, photos may not always be available to post onto the blog. Sometimes onsite program staff are only able to send text back to Headquarters, where our team updates the blog.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
Cell Phone Policy: The GLA cell phone policy is currently in place this summer to help foster meaningful connections between students. This means your student’s phone will be collected every day and returned to them after activities are completed to have with them through the night. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location and time zones. During designated ‘tech time’, your student may use their phones as they wish. Please note that your student may not always choose to use this time to get a hold of their parents. If you are not hearing directly from your student each day, you can assume that no news is good news! We strongly recommend you follow the blog to follow your students’ experience without talking to them every day. If you are a parent and would like to get in touch with your student directly, you can call us at +1-619-758-3031 and we can set up a formal time for you to connect with your student.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 15
Dear GLA Bali Global Health Families,
I hope all is well.
We have all made it to Bali. It’s a beautiful day. The skies are blue, and kites are flying overhead. The air smells of incense and today’s lunch. Orientation is underway. All the group is here, and everyone is happy. It was a long day of travel, but the students are in incredibly high spirits—youth is powerful. When I arrived last week, I was pretty jet lagged.
Over the next two weeks, we will be learning about Balinese culture, carrying out community service, and exploring this beautiful island that we have the luck to currently call home. Students will be writing a blog post every one to two days to keep you updated about all the great things they have been up to. Remember that students will not have their phones during the day, but they will have access to their phones during the evening/night. Please feel free to remind them about the importance of sleep.
We have a six-person staff team in the field providing a 3:1 student to staff ratio. We also have the 24/7 professional support of the office staff. Your children are in great hands. This is going to be a wonderful program, and I am excited to be part of it. Keep your eyes open for the first student blog in a day or two and enjoy your summer.
John Dewald (GLA International Director)
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 17
These past few days have been a whirl wind in Bali! We started off with an Herbal tour and some shopping, right after we traveled to a water temple and saw so many fish and holy water fountains. Next on our agenda we headed to lunch on a volcano with insane views, next we went to a coffee/tea tasting. The mangosteen was the best by far. If that wasn’t interesting, lastly we went back to home base and got ready for dinner with the King and Princess while getting a tour of the royal palace!!! We learned so many new things and immersed ourselves in the Bali culture from food to royals.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 18
Beautiful morning at the homestay accompanied by French toast, edamame, and bananas!
At around 10 am, we had our first official leadership activity—- a Debate! And everyone was split into groups representing the representatives and perspectives of the South African Government, the treatment action campaign, Groot pharma, Human rights judges, and mediators of the conversation called Create. It was pretty cool watching everyone invest in views apart from their own on such a controversial subject, being the human rights of life and property!
Afterwards, we walked to the banjar workshop, where we learned the Legong dance, and played traditional instruments! In addition, we learned to make offerings, and touched a little bit on wood carving.
Afterwards, the entire group decided to delay lunch for a trip to the nearby convenience store for snacks and supplies.
Back at the homestay, we had lunch and received a presentation introducing the public health of Bali, and went over procedures of tomorrow’s public service with the medical students. Then we got to have dinner with the med students!
Finally, we had a GLA Olympics event with our mentor groups. The event of this Olympics was charades, with some very interesting twists! Starting off normal, limitations were added and removed, such as sound effects, sitting down, performing under a sheet, sitting backwards, and even an interpretive dance to music!
All and all, day four was both exciting, and a great learning experience!
Here are some pics from the last few days!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 19
Happy first day of service!! We started our morning with omelets at 8am. Then we did a leadership activity designed to help us figure out our personal leadership styles and how we can work best with others.
We drove to Buni Sehat a natural birthing clinic here in Bali. We got to talk Robin Lim the founder of the clinic. We also got to watch videos of the birthing process and how they raise money for their clinic. They have locations around Indonesia and the Philippines.
We enjoyed lunch at homebase and then got to start service. We joined with the medial students and went on house visits in small groups. During the house visits we took people’s blood pressure and assisted the medical students with taking their glucose levels. We also got to help take their height and weight as well as documenting their information.
We went home for dinner and ended the night with mentor groups. In mentor groups we talking about stepping out of our comfort zone.
We are so excited for day 6!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 20 & 21
Yesterday was another great busy day at GLA in Bali!! We started off with another NGO visit that works with building confidence in those who struggle with a disability. In Bali, disabilities are looked down upon and aren’t accepted. This organization works with donations to create safe spaces and classrooms for people of all ages to learn and grow together! We enjoyed a lovely welcome and background debrief then moved on to a tour around the classrooms, kitchen, gym, and garden. To finish off our morning, we enjoyed a tasty Balinese lunch prepped at the NGO. U
Service came next! Kids worked with med students visiting homes and providing check ups for families. Students began to grow their skills and notice their strengths and weaknesses.
Ending our night we traveled by bus to downtown Ubud, definitely a new perspective! We enjoyed a delicious meal at a beautiful restaurant that works with the community to give some of their profit to those in need! The generous gift of Nutella crepes and friendship bracelets brought a smile to everyone’s faces!
Following dinner, we walked to the legong dance performance and enjoyed our front row seats in an amazing story telling dance experience. So amazing to follow the story line as costumes and characters arrived on the dance floor!
Quite a long day, but everyone enjoyed the experience!
Today, we started out the day with an energizing breakfast. After breakfast, we did a pulse check about how the program was going for each one of us. Then, we were fortunate enough to be able to experience a palm-reading by a Balinese healer, who is also known as a “Balian.” André, one of our mentors, got his palm read by the Balian. Quoting the Balian, “André needs to work on his financial problems, drink ginger tea, and eat less meat. Apparently, André also got his heart broken when he was young, but now he has a stable love relationship.” He also said that his ancestors were samurai.
When we came back to the home base, a delicious home-made meal was waiting for us. But there is always room for snacks! So Beni and John (our instructors) took us on a trip to Indomart, which is a convenient store popular in Bali. The top two favorite snacks of our group are the seaweed potato chips and Hello Panda chocolate cookies. Yeah!
Then, from 2-5pm, we did our last day of health check service around local Balinese communities. Some of our roles were taking vital signs. When we finished the service hours, we worked together to digitally input the information we attained.
Last but not least, we split off into our mentor groups! We had a deep talk about how we think other people perceive us and how we want to be perceived. What a great calming way to end our day!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 22
Hi! Today was Day 8 of our program. We did a lot today, and had a lot of fun.
After eating breakfast, John gave a presentation on his nonprofit “Full Belly Brasil”, which is based in several cities in Brazil. It aims to combat food insecurity in poorer communities and also prevent climate change. The nonprofit’s goal of combating food insecurity relates to one of our next activities today: making meals for orphanages. This nonprofit works on food recovery, in which food distributors donate soon to expire food (it is checked to make sure it is safe to eat) to the nonprofit, and it is then distributed to the community quickly.
John’s nonprofit also has water projects, where it provides water filters to families lacking clean water. Additionally, the nonprofit has environmental initiatives, such as beach clean-ups (partnered with marine biologists to ensure as large of a positive impact is created) and planting trees (over 70,000 trees have been planted, the equivalent of removing around 3,500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per year).
After listening to John’s talk, we split into six smaller groups to create lessons on either: hygiene, nutrition, or exercise – these lessons would later be taught to orphans at two orphanages. Some groups chose to make posters; most (if not all) groups involved fun games such as Red Light Green Light and Infection.
Next, we started to prepare 300 delicious meals for the orphanages. This involved folding paper to make the containers for food, cooking the dishes (eg. eggs, vegetables, tempe), and finally packing the food into the containers we made. We had a lot of fun while preparing these meals, and overall, it was a very enjoyable experience.
As a treat, Beni ordered us all bubble tea! It was nice and refreshing after preparing food, when it did get a bit hot. We snacked on this while eating lunch.
After a nice break, we split into two groups, and each headed to a different orphanage. Once we arrived, we got to know and taught the orphans ranging in age from 5-19 our lessons we created. All of us played fun games with the orphans, and we hope they enjoyed it as much as we did! Right before we left, we distributed the meals we had packed. There were a lot of leftover meals, so we headed to an environmental center in the countryside to hand out the remaining food (150 meals). The meals were quickly given out, and we headed back to homebase.
On the way back, we stopped at Indomaret – some people decided to purchase snacks and treats such as ice cream.
After eating dinner, we had another fun activity planned: futsal! As a surprise, we headed to a proper futsal arena, where we played many competitive games in a GLA championship! In the end, team Bahamas (wearing white) won. Congratulations!
Overall, it was a great day.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24
Hey guys! Today we had an early morning wake up, but it was all worth it to see the sunrise on a beautiful boat tour. After the sun rose we had a chance to go to a Japanese shipwreck near the shore and snorkel there. It was really cool because John pointed out a poisonous fish, as well as a lion fish that everyone got to see. After we headed back, we had a delicious and fulfilling breakfast before we had some chill time. Many of us spent time at the pool, by the beach, or in our own rooms. Then it was time for lunch.
We had a delicious lunch, and afterwards we did some service prep and headed to a school to present our presentations about nutrition, exercise, and hygiene one more time to kids in 3rd to 6th grade. We also got a chance to give them books, pencils, pens, and bread. After that, we headed back to our resort and got fitted for scuba suits and then we chilled. Then we had a nice dinner before having chow Circle on the beach and having quiet chill mentor groups. Yet another beautiful day in Bali.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25-27
Hey guys, today we had an early wake up at 7 o’clock to catch breakfast because today was scuba day. we saw lots of fish, such a star, fish and clown fish and we even got to see multiple sea turtles eating their lunch. It was really cool to swim among the fish and feel like a sea creature. We also saw lots of coral. After scuba, we relaxed and had dinner. We ended the night with chill time.
Today was day 12 of our program. We traveled back to Ubud from Amed. Today we had our last breakfast in Amed. After breakfast we left to go back to Ubud at 8:30am. We made one stop to do a hike through an indigenous community with a guide.
Following a filling and delicious breakfast we had begun our trek back to home base in Ubud. However, on the return we had planned to visit an indigenous community planted deep within the jungle. Therefore, to reach this community we were required to hike 5 km into the jungle. Arriving at the edge of the jungle prior to our trek we were met with our tour guide, an indigenous community member himself. He had guided us through the jungle and rice fields towards his community, where he explained a variety of ideals as we walked.
Ideals including those of the younger generation failing to take the traditional roles such as being a farmer, but also ideals of how holistic and environmentally conscious his community was. The guide had stopped in several locations to share the community’s pride in their conservation, such as their conservation of the incredibly strong trees, like the Durian tree on their land. Once we had arrived at the community we were greeted by cattle, chickens, all sorts of animals. The guide had brought us to a large patch of grass to eat lunch, prepped by the local people themselves. The lunch had included items such as white rice, egg, and fried shrimp that just made your mouth jump in excitement.
Lunch was delicious ,and afterwards, some students had bought some scrolls from vendors in the community near where we ate that had designs drawn on them. The designs were based on the Balinese cultural beliefs and how each month had an entity that represented it. Following this break our tour guide has brought us to a sport for some honey tasting, as the community produces natural honey from a selection of bees. Students tried the honey, many squealing at how good the honey tasted! The tour guide ahead also given us some bananas that were adequately ripe and were a favorite of everybody’s. Following these taste trials we were provided
After returning from our adventure through the community, we made it back to Ubud and settled back into our rooms. After settling in we finished up our last GLA activity of the trip. The activity was a fun way to end the activities by the students setting up goals they want to achieve in a certain period of time and how they will achieve the goals. To end it off the students had a choose a goal they all wanted to accomplish together. The students decided they all wanted to be more like Beni. After the GLA activity the students had free time until dinner. Our local staff noticed the kids were missing the American food at home and they had a wonderful surprise for the students. Dayu and Beni, members of the local staff, got pizza for dinner and many rejoiced.
Once dinner had ended the students had free time for a bit and prepared for an evening activity. The activity was a version of charades where the two mentor groups faced off, for first to reach 10 points. After the activity the students were ready and bed. It was a great day and the students are excited for the activities that come tomorrow!
Today we surfed. It was rad 🤙